Sunday January 15, 2012


Finding Fido Fast

Petsearchers Canada and the incredible story of a lost little dog found again

Submitted by Al Maclellen, Petseachers


small dog that was rescued from a hard, lonely life on the dangerous streets of Taiwan and placed in a foster home in Burnaby is finally safe after running the streets of Vancouver for a month.

The sad story of Macie starts in Taiwan where she strived to survive day to day living on the streets, even after being hit by a vehicle when she was a puppy. She was saved from this horrible life by Ocean Dog Rescue, a Richmond non-profit organization that finds homes in the lower mainland for stray dogs from Taiwan.  The Volunteers from this group were very happy for Macie when Ralph and Cheryl Boegeman from Burnaby area gave Macie a loving home to spend the rest of her life safe and sound.

A volunteer at Ocean Dog Rescue and previous resident of Taiwan Renee Hsieh stated that “ Taiwanese people are not friendly to stray dogs,” Macie was wounded at the age of two months and forced to survive on her own constantly searching for shelter, food and water.

Unfortunately after only eight days here in Vancouver she ran from her new families backyard and started her month long journey throughout Burnaby and Vancouver. Macie was already a skittish dog in a different country, likely bewildered and now fending for herself on the lonely and dangerous streets of Vancouver.

Immediately Renee and many other Volunteers began putting up posters throughout the area as well as placing ads in newspapers and on Craiglist.  A $1,000.00 reward was offered for Macie’s safe return.  Macie’s survival instincts were very strong which enabled her to outsmart and outrun the volunteers and neighbours. 


Petsearchers Canada owner Al Maclellen and his trusty bloodhound Jed.

Renee Hsieh called in Al MacLellan from Petsearchers Canada  to help in the search for Macie after learning that he had helped many other pet rescue groups in the Lower Mainland successfully bring dogs and cats home safe and sound.  Al MacLellan, a Langley resident specializes in tracking lost pets using his six bloodhounds and even a Great Dane who is trained to catch missing running dogs in open fields, farmland and wooded areas.

The days were passing by and Macie was nowhere to be found. Because of the many predators roaming around the area at night and the danger of Macie being hit by a car, Hsieh started to lose hope for the safe return of this little girl.  Eventually one of the posters that were erected paid off, someone spotted Macie running around Clark park near 15th ave and Clark Drive in East Vancouver.

Al MacLellan, and his son Parker MacLellan showed up and tracked Macie with Bloodhounds and trailed her for many blocks and eventually saw her. From previous experience searching for lost rescue dogs MacLellan knew not to chase her but instead only observe her at this point.  He said “lost rescue dogs are creatures of habit, she will travel a certain way every day when she feels that this is a safe route to take.”  “Most lost pets go into survival mode and become almost feral”. That's why they won't come when owners call them because their instincts tell them to be quiet in case of predators.

There were many attempts by volunteers in December to catch Macie, however because of her speed she could not be caught. Macie’s speed probably saved her from the hungry mouths of the many coyotes that search for food on these streets of East Vancouver day and night.  MacLellan said the fewer people involved in tracking a lost pet, the better, because dogs know when they are being stalked.

"It just makes (them) more eager not to get caught," he said. "It's the opposite of what you would think."

MacLellan set up a live trap close to where Macie had been seen, and they waited, but Macie was nowhere to be found. While many volunteers were losing hope, MacLellan never gave up.

"I never stop, especially with a rescue dog. You can't leave the dog out there to fend for itself, especially during this cold season.  What are you going to do?" MacLellan said. "I know I'm going to catch her sooner or later. It's just about outsmarting the dog while understanding her habits"

Macie once again finally came into into MacLellan's view on December 21st

MacLellan said; "I saw her coming down her regular route, and I knew that this would be the time that I would catch her”.

MacLellan parked on the side of the street several blocks away crouching behind his van with a large net, tensing as Macie came barrelling down the sidewalk, not suspecting anything and not knowing the MacLellan was ready to save her.

“I was watching her through my van window as she was getting closer and closer and soon as she came right along the side of my vehicle, I just jumped out, and she didn't know what hit her," he said.

It had been a long month on these streets and little Macie was now emaciated and covered in lacerations and sores. Because of the late hour MacLellan took her home to his farm where he and son Parker spent a few hours feeding and nurturing Macie, helping her to readjust before returning her to her owners.  MacLellan stated “these dogs that are lost for so long do not really take too long to realize that you are there to help them and they quickly understand that they are being taken care of and loved, this is all they want”.

Macie is now getting a GPS collar before she can come back to Cheryl and husband.  They were obviously excited to hear Macie was caught by Al, his son and their remarkable scent Bloodhound dogs and that she was safe once again.

"It was the best Christmas present that I got," she said. "The minute she saw me, she started jumping up. When Macie came through the door she jumped in my lap and started kissing my face, she’s a miracle dog."

Cheryl and husband are planning to hold a summer barbecue to thank everyone who helped find Macie,

Ocean Dog Rescue volunteer Renee Hsieh said "I got so many calls (from people) that sincerely cared about Macie," The people in Vancouver are so warm, and they have big hearts." “Also we can’t thank Al MacLellan from Petsearchers Canada enough for help saving the life of Macie. “Maclellan and his trained dogs have a unique ability to find lost pets and his determination to bring these pets to safety is amazing.

For more information visit: or e-mail your questions here.

If your pet is lost call Petsearchers Canada right away at: 604-825-6913

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